Garmin Rino 650
My hunting partners and I use Rinos to communicate & keep track of each other. Being able to "poll" & locate each other is an important safety feature in the back country. When the countryside all looks the same, especially in snow or limited visibility, Rinos make finding our vehicle easy. The combined Radio & GPS is convenient.
My son needed a Rino now that he lives nearby and we hunt & bike together frequently. I had a now discontinued Rino 530 HCX, but was never really happy with the radio performance, the tiny screen, the toggle switch, multi-step drop down menus, and especially the "pan map" function. I Sold my 530 for just $50 less than the 650 net cost & bought two 650s so that we could learn them together. The more expensive 655t with built-in 100K basemap & low resolution 5MP camera didn't seem that useful.
Good decision: the 650 is much more user friendly than the 530. Easy touch screen navigation, even in light gloves. Bigger screen. Easy to find my position by hitting the back button on the Map screen. Radio function is much improved. Although not available thru REI, huntinggpsmaps 24K equivalent chip shows topo, landmarks, roads, private land boundaries & owner info, but REI carries 24K topo maps that are all that's needed for backpacking, cross country skiing, and biking. The GPS updates quickly. The compass & altimeter work well.
Some things could be better: If not too bulky, a still bigger screen (like the Montana 650) would be better. Although the carabiner is useful, for the $$, a secure belt clip, lanyard, and case should be included. A built-in 24K topo basemap would be worth a little extra. Although screen navigation is very easy, it doesn't appear that I can re-arrange the icons to put the most frequently used on the 1st screen. Time should be shown unobtrusively on all screens. The screen glass is tougher than the 530, but Gorilla Glass would eliminate the need for a case. Having said that, the 650 is the best Rino yet and highly recommended for safety, communication, and navigation all in one device.
Must have if your with people outside!
This is a great product, just as good as the Garmin 60 CSX. What's better is it obtains reception quicker, it's a radio, and believe it or not, the touch screen is easier to use, than the 60 CSX buttons.
My group had different Rino models, two people had 610's, one had the older 530 Rino, and one also had the 650. All worked in-sync with one another, and gave accurate locations, as well as radio seemed to work fairly well.
The battery life is good, I would have it on all day, and it would use about 30% power from battery. That was GPS and radio usage, and occasional back light for the early mornings, and late evenings.
If you ever hike with a gps, and have had an occasion to use a radio, with others. This is a must!!! Granted the other has to have a Rino too. If you ALWAYS hike alone, and have the 60 csx. Then I would stick with that. Although this has much more memory.
It feels great in the hand, and easily used with a glove on. I used it for two weeks in a row, everyday, and I think it was a great purchase.
The Garmin Radios series has been a reliable and cutting edge technology for years. The new 600 series is an excellent improvement over the 500 series. I had two 500 series that were reliable and cutting edge. You can see on your GPS map where your buddies are. Individual locations are updated when transmitting. The GPS is excellent as well. I have gotten GPS signal when my friends handhelds are still searching or are not receiving anything due to tree cover. The lion batteries last 10 hours. You have the versatility of using nicad if you need to. The 600 series keeps transmitting at 5 watts- unlike the 500 series which reduced the wattage to .5 on nicad. If you know that you get what you pay for, you will not regret this purchase.
Everything a GPS/2-way needs to be.
I've been on the market for a GPS unit for years and have had used the Etrex models and I've always wanted a GPS that had a communication feature as I'm out doing my outdoor activities (hunting). The features on the Rino 650 have really been top notch, the ease of operation was simple to understand and installing maps also was a breeze. Garmin definitely hit a home run with the introduction of the Rino line but more so with the 650, I am quite impressed with this GPS. The feature that sold me on this unit was the ability to locate other individuals who have a Rino (any model) on the GPS, knowing their location is quite vital when your out in the woods.
Very Nice Device
Numerous Functions - I used quite a few, all very informative and fun to use. Quite an Upgrade - I received this as a gift from the kids. You can't go wrong with this unit. It is complex to master, but don't let that be a hindrance; the learning curve is not that steep!